Because Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, our Christmas celebration was a three-day event.
First of all, Brian had Friday off of work. So this year, as Christmas Eve was scheduled to be quite busy, we went to the zoo on Friday instead.
It was a COLD day at the zoo. We were grateful for warm blankets, hats and scarves. Also, there was hardly anyone else there. (Part of the reason we love to go around Christmas.) Ironically, though, one of the only other groups there was the family of one of our favorite homecare delivery drivers. It was kind of fun to introduce Patrick to his family and explain to them how important his job was to us.
We also saw some animals and let Patrick run as long as he could before he got too cold and needed snuggled up in the wagon some more.
Christmas Eve was Saturday and we started that day out with my family. Every year my family has a big Christmas brunch. We make far more food than we can possibly consume, squish into a house that by all rights should not hold all of us, and just soak up some holiday cheer.
Because of work and family schedules, this is also when the nieces and nephews open presents. It’s pure madness. And a wonderful tradition.
Then, stuffed as can be, we came home for naps before moving on to our second Christmas get-together.
Brian has a brother who lives in North Carolina. And this year, his second daughter was being baptized. So, his brother rented a beach house and invited the family out. Sadly, because that’s very far to travel with Patrick, very expensive, and happened to be planned just one week before Patrick was due for a checkup in Seattle, we didn’t go to the beach house. (Brian went to the baptism while Patrick and I stayed home, but that will be the subect for another blog.)
Still, because Brian’s parents were flying out to North Carolina on Christmas day, we had our Christmas with them on Saturday night, Christmas Eve.
We ordered pizzas to keep cooking and cleanup simple. (Though Granny threw in a yummy homemade mac n cheese and some monkey bread, regardless.) Then, after dinner, gathered to visit and exchange gifts.
Granny bought Patrick and his younger cousin Sesame Street buses. Patrick’s had his eye on this bus for months and was quite happy to see it. Still, the presents held more allure and he ran around and helped open everyone else’s for them.
Then, we came home and rounded out Christmas eve with some traditional presents: pajamas and a Christmas book to read together before bed.
A Sunday Christmas made for an early morning. First, Brian got up early to run his parents to the airport. This meant I was up way too early because, face it, I get too excited for Christmas and can’t sleep.
We woke Patrick to open presents. But, since we needed to get to Church, we started with his first present in his room: a new suit. Yes, he opened presents in a suit, not PJ’s this year.
Opening presents was so much fun! I wrapped lots of little things because I knew that opening was going to be half the fun this year. And boy oh boy, it was. Patrick would open a gift, admire it, then look at me and say “mo-mo peh-peh” (more presents.)
Santa brought a basketball hoop. Patrick put all of his presents through it all morning.
Patrick’s stocking was filled with toy cars, including Mater, McQueen and a school bus. Plus some gum and bottled water.
He also got lots of books, clothes, lacing beads, stickers and from his cousin, a remote control car. That car has been one of his favorite gifts so far… Though his favorite way to play is to put the car on the table or other high piece of furniture and drive it off.
Church was at 10 and was a combined sacrament meeting. (That means we met with the other congregation who shares our building… therefore we sat at the back of the room where the chairs were metal and the floors hard and echo-y.) Patrick played with a couple of toys I’d gotten just for the occassion and lasted well until the meeting ran over an hour and his attention waned.
We rushed from church to my parents house to be able to Skype with my brother, Dave, who is serving as a missionary in France right now. That was fun, though Patrick kept trying to show things to the screen instead of the camera.
Next was dinner at my grandpa’s house. That was another madhouse of family, but it was fun enough… at least until Patrick started to feel that it was 3 p.m. and he hadn’t napped, despite getting up early.
By then, it was time to go home. We’d planned to have our family Christmas dinner that night, but we were so full and tired that we opted to postpone it for another day.
Instead, we spent the rest of the day being lazy, playing with new toys and enjoying the chance to be at home.
One of best gifts I got this year came on Christmas Eve morning. I wished Patrick a Merry Christmas and he grinned and replied “Merr-mee Mas-mas.” Sweeter holiday words were never spoken.